Sometimes I take one or both of my kids on my visits. I explain, the best way I can to a toddler or preschooler, who we are going to see. Sometimes my visits take us to a senior retirement home where wheelchairs are numerous. Other times to a hospital. Some others, to a person’s home.
I rarely take my oldest anymore as he is often finding ways to occupy himself – and I don’t get to talk with whomever I am supposed to visit! (This, however, works at times for certain visits as kids bring a joy this woman can’t.)
On a recent visit, I took my son along. In the car I filled him in, telling him that the woman we were going to see was sick and her husband.
“Is she going to die?” Well, we hope not.
“Not for a long time. She has a family and friends who want her here for a long time.” Do I tell him about cancer? Tell him about something that may or may not be lethal? Something that a doctor can take care of in a quick visit, or years of fighting it comes for nothing? Something his own grandmother has had?
“She has cancer.” Now explain that Mom! “Cancer is a bad thing that is in her body and is making her sick.”
Without a second’s pause, the young voice replied from the back seat “She should go to Heaven and God can take her apart, take the cancer out, and put her back together. Then she wouldn’t be sick.” My son, the new Lego builder.
“Yeah, that would be a great idea. But, remember that once you go to Heaven you can’t come back?”
“She should still go to Heaven so God can fix her.” If I only knew all that was in his brain!
A few moments later, “Astronauts can see God when they go into space and they come back.”
“Well, perhaps when you are older you can be an astronaut and then tell me what God looks like.”
“That will be a long time. I’m not big enough yet.”
“Well, that’s okay.”
“Do you know that God has an invisible car? And an invisible garage to fix it in?”
God, you call us to you as children. Help us remember to think like children, to be open and amazed and excited about your glory! Help us be patient and trusting, remembering that it is not always necessary to over-think things that we can never fully understand. Amen.